Settle in for a triple feature with a look back at the trio of cameos from one Leon White, a.k.a Big Van Vader, a.k.a Francis (Leslie) Stecchino.
“Wrestling with Demons”
Season 3, Episode 12
Proving why The Undertaker has been so successful for all these years, comes another show dealing with the occult that somehow manages to work in pro wrestling as part of the plot. Side note: “Wrestling with Demons” should’ve been the title of the Jake “The Snake” Roberts documentary.
2015 wasn’t the greatest year for wrestling legends in terms of breaking news stories. Two of the greatest entertainers, Dusty Rhodes and Roddy Piper, passed away. Jimmy Snuka was arrested and charged with third-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter of his then-girlfriend, Nancy Argentino, 32 years after the fact. And, even though former Hulkmaniacs thought it impossible, Hulk Hogan was able to further desecrate his legacy and contribution to professional wrestling by adding to his already long list of personal failures and embarrassments his dropping of the n-word. Multiple times. Seriously, you would’ve thought it was one of the Hulkamania commandments after “take your vitamins.”
Thankfully, this site focuses on wrestling in pop culture. So even when it’s bad, it’s not going to leave you depressed and questioning everything you kayfabe believed in. And luckily, 2015 was a good year for pro wrestling within the canon of pop culture.
Here’s an animated short film from a group of art students from the School of Visual Arts/ Computer Art department. It’s a pretty cool reminder that more animated CGI films (both short and feature-length) should be made about luchadores.
As September draws to a close I figured I’d highlight the fact that September is National Recovery Month which raises awareness about recovering from drug and alcohol addiction. Addictions that the pro wrestling industry is all too familiar with. And while wrestling fans once chugged along with their favorite beer guzzlers like “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and The Sandman, and rolled a fatty for 4:20 friendly wrestlers like Rob Van Dam and The Godfather, in today’s wrestling landscape that’s no longer the case. While it’s not entirely condemned, because only heels are straight edge, it’s definitely frowned upon. Pro wrestling has even tried to make public service announcements out of wrestlers’ real-life past addictions. Here’s five of them.
Pro wrestling seems to be good fodder for cartoons. It’s already outlandish and slapstick as it is. Wrestling is built on magnifying everything related to the real world to a ridiculously excessive interpretation. Within the boundaries, or lack thereof, of the animated world that ridiculous interpretation is further heightened to even more preposterous levels of absurdity. This is exactly why every cartoon should have at least one wrestling-themed episode. Wrestling and cartoons go hand in hand. They’re the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups of the entertainment medium.
Wrestling fans love to know about celebrities who actually enjoy watching wrestling. It makes them more like us! However, we don’t care for the ones that were somehow coerced into being at a WWE event, despite getting awesome front-row seats, for the sole purpose of reminding non-wrestling fans how mainstream and culturally relevant WWE is. Nor do we care for the ones that are guest hosting Raw for the simple reason of pimping out their latest movie/show. No, we like the ones that actually watch on their own accord and are fans of the product. Whether they’ve just gotten on the bandwagon or have been fans for years. It’s even better when those fans happen to be comedians. Especially, when you consider the several parallels between the lives of professional wrestlers and stand-up comedians. Plus, it helps to have a sense of humor and a healthy dose of self-hatred when watching wrestling. Which is why it makes sense that comedians would be legit wrestling fans. And here’s a PWI 500-ish ranking of them.